Wildlife Conservation Society

It's Playtime! Two Baby Gorillas Debut at Bronx Zoo

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Two infant Western Lowland Gorillas are making their public debut at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. This is the second pair of Gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo in just over a year.  
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Julie Larsen Maher_7859_Western Lowland Gorillas and Babies_CON_BZ_04 14 15Photo Credit:  Julie Larsen Maher
 

The Bronx Zoo has a successful history breeding Gorillas as part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. These are the 16th and 17th Gorillas born at Congo Gorilla Forest; there have been 52 Gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo since 1972.

Layla (16 years old) gave birth on January 17, and Kumi (also 16 years old) had her baby on January 19. Ernie (32 years old) is the father of both babies. The gender of the infants is not yet known.  The babies join 17 other Gorlllas at the zoo.  

Gorillas are the world’s largest primates. Weighing only about 4 to 5 pounds at birth, adult males weigh between 350-450 pounds and when standing upright can be up to six feet tall. Adult females weigh between 150-250 pounds and are up to four feet tall. 

Western lowland Gorillas are designated as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their natural range spans tropical and subtropical forests in equatorial Africa. WCS works throughout Central Africa to protect Gorillas from habitat loss and illegal hunting.


Orphaned Tigers Cubs Rescued in Russian Wilderness

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Three orphaned Siberian Tiger cubs, alone in the snowy Russian Far East, were rescued from certain death last fall by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which operates the Bronx Zoo.  The capture and rehabilitation of the cubs – who are part of a rapidly vanishing species – illustrate the challenges of saving Tigers, one animal at a time.  Fewer than 500 Siberian Tigers, which are the largest of all Tiger subspecies, survive in the wild, including 330-390 adults.  Worldwide, only about 3,200 Tigers exist in the wild, and they face poaching, a reduction in prey species, and habitat loss.

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Photo Credits:  Dale Miquelle © WCS

WCS assisted Russian wildlife officials by deploying two of their staff members, brothers Kolya and Sasha Rybin, who are expert Tiger trackers. The cubs were seen stalking a dog near a small village, so the team knew where to start.  Fresh tracks led the team to the forest, where they found the cubs staring curiously at them from the middle of a road.  Moments later, the cubs vanished into the forest, but the team was able to capture the smallest cub, which weighed only 35 pounds.  The cubs were determined to be about four months old.

Researchers believe that the cubs’ mother was likely killed by poachers.  A 20-year WCS project determined that poaching accounts for nearly 75% of adult Tiger deaths.  Bones and body parts from a single adult Tiger can fetch up to $5,000 for the poacher alone, and once processed for use in traditional Asian medicine, far more.  Female Tigers with cubs seem to be the most vulnerable, because they will defend their cubs rather than flee.

These three cubs probably remained in the spot where their mother was killed, leaving only when they became too hungry to wait any longer.

The team was unable to capture the two remaining cubs for several days.  One was followed for 13 kilometers, yet managed to avoid capture until it ventured onto a military base.

The third cub eluded the team for two more days.  Weak and struggling to walk in the deep snow, the dehydrated animal was captured, warmed, and given fluids and food before making the four-hour trip to the rehabilitation center to meet his siblings.

Over the next seven to eight months, the Tiger cubs will have very limited interactions with people to avoid associating humans with food.  This spring, small prey will be introduced so that the cubs can learn to hunt. They will eventually be released in a remote part of Siberia – three living, breathing symbols of hope for this imperiled species.


Little Lemurs Debut at the Bronx Zoo

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The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo recently welcomed two baby lemurs, a Conquerel's Sifaka and a Collared Lemur. 

Both babies will spend their next few weeks clinging firmly to mom's back. Coquerel’s Sifakas spend most of their time in trees and leap effortlessly, launching themselves vertically with their strong legs. Like most species of lemurs, the females are dominant, claiming the choicest food and the best sleeping and sunning spots.

Collared lemurs use their long tails to balance when leaping through the forest canopy. Collared Lemurs live in groups of males and females but are not matriarchal like the Sifaka and many other lemurs.

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Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Video Credits: Luke Groskin © WCS


New Pictures, New Video! Bronx Zoo Giraffe Calf Update

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The Giraffe calf born in March at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo has made her debut on the African Plains, and she's one busy girl. See her nuzzle with mom, romp around her exhibit, and interact with a surprise visitor—an interloping butterfly. You can see earlier pictures of this tall baby from our ZooBorns article on March 23.

The calf has not yet been named. The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for the Carter Giraffe Building.

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Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


Bolivian Gray Titi Monkeys: It's a Family Affair

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A Gray Titi Monkey was born at the Bronx Zoo in April and has just now gone made it's debut on exhibit with mom. In fact, you can hear them sing together early in the morning.

Gestation for the Bolivian gray titi monkey is about 132 days, a little over 4 months. A single baby is usually born; very rarely, twins are born.  Gray titi monkeys live in family groups, which usually consists of a breeding couple and several offspring. The father will help wtih the baby, carrying it on it's back in the first few days after birth. Older brothers or sisters may also help in this same way.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which owns the zoo, works in Bolivia where gray titi monkeys live in the wild. This species is endangered largely due to habitat destruction.

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Photo by Julie Larsen Maher/WCS


In The Midst of The Hurricane, a Lamb is Born

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A lamb was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo in New York City on Saturday, August 27 --the day Hurricane Irene hit. Born in a stable as the city braced for the storm, she has been named Irene Hope.

Early Saturday morning as curators and staff were readying the zoo for the hurricane, the lamb was found cuddled next to her mother, Truffle, in the Tish Children’s Zoo. She weighed 4 kilograms or about 8 pounds. Her father is named Sid.  Irene Hope will nurse for approximately 3-4 months.

“On a day of great uncertainty for New York City, the lamb brought smiles and hope to all of us at the zoo,” said Susan Cardillo, an assistant curator for Central Park Zoo. “We had to name her Irene Hope. She was a big surprise. It is rare to see a lamb born in late August.”

After finding the lamb and making sure she was healthy, Irene Hope was secured with her mother in their stable as the storm roared through the area. The first 24 hours of nursing is critical to a lamb’s health. As flood waters receded around the zoo early on Sunday, Cardillo was relieved when she found lamb and ewe resting peacefully. Irene Hope is a Southdown or baby doll sheep, one of the oldest breeds of sheep that originate from Sussex, England. 

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen/WCS

 


Cavy Pup Sitting Pretty

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A two week old Patagonian Cavy is the latest addition to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo.  The yet-to-be named pup joins its parents and older sister in the Tisch Children’s Zoo. 

Though they look like rabbits, Cavies are rodents whose closest relatives are guinea pigs. Cavies are the fourth largest rodent in the world, reaching about 18 inches in height. They are common in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina and other areas of South America.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WIldlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide, through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. 

You can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places at wcs.org!